Thursday, 30 April 2009
CUT SHORT by Leigh Russell
Don’t go near the park.
When a frenzied killer begins slaying young women in parkland in the sleepy town of Woolsmarsh, newly promoted Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel knows it is only a matter of time before the gruesome discovery of another naked corpse.
What began as a straightforward murder investigation is now a desperate hunt for a serial attacker whose bloodlust is spiraling out of control.
But Steel is already battling demons of her own. Her relocation to Woolsmarsh isn’t going as planned, her relationship with her boyfriend is in tatters, and now threatening messages suggest an old adversary is back to settle a score.
As the park monster continues to strike, the grisly trail begins to take some unexpected turns and Steel is drawn deeper into a deadly game of cat and mouse and a horrifying realization that she might be the predator’s ultimate kill.
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Excerpt from CUT SHORT
That afternoon, the DCI decided to bring John Drew in and ‘have another go,’ as Peterson put it. Pleased to leave her desk, Geraldine led the way up the stale smelling concrete stairs. This time they didn’t find the suspect alone. He peered round the door wearing nothing but a crumpled Tshirt and boxers and protested loudly when they pushed past him to see the dark-haired girl from the flower shop lying sleepy-eyed on the sofa, naked above the waist, her short denim skirt hitched up her thighs. Angela Waters’ boyfriend hadn’t wasted any time finding comfort in his loss.
‘What do you want?’ he growled.
‘Get dressed, Mr Drew,’ Peterson replied. ‘We’re taking a trip to the station. We’d like to ask you a few more questions.’ The girl rose unsteadily to her feet, tugging at her skirt. She yanked a dirty T-shirt over her head.
‘You arresting me?’ Johnny Drew demanded.
‘You arresting him or what?’ the girl repeated sullenly. Her speech was slurred.
‘Shut it, Millie,’ Drew snarled. She hung her head, glaring up at the detectives through her dark fringe.
‘You arresting me then or what?’ He struck a defiant pose, legs apart, hands on hips.
‘We’ll arrest you for wasting our time, if you don’t get dressed now,’ the DS answered.
‘Beat it, Millie,’ Drew shouted over his shoulder as he disappeared into the bedroom, muttering about privacy, Peterson on his heels. The girl slammed the front door so hard the windows shook.
The suspect sulked in the car all the way to the station.
In the interview room, Peterson went in hard. ‘You like beating up girls, don’t you? It gives you a kick. That’s right, isn’t it? Makes you feel powerful.’
Drew wasn’t cowed. ‘What’s it to you?’ he countered, gazing levelly at the DS. ‘None of your fucking business, that’s what. I want a lawyer.’ He leaned back in his chair, folded his arms and stared at Peterson. They left him to kick his heels while they sorted out a brief. Once they reassembled, Peterson resumed. Geraldine felt confident that if Drew was guilty the sergeant would crack him, but she wasn’t convinced they had the right man.